Jobs resigns, but Apple won’t change much…yet
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Jeremy Hobson: The news last night that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs is resigning wasn’t completely unexpected. Jobs is a pancreatic cancer survivor and he had a liver transplant in 2009. But the resignation is still probably the biggest thing to shake the the tech world since… I don’t know, the iPad?
For more on this, let’s bring in Marketplace Silicon Valley correspondent Steve Henn. Good Morning.
Steve Henn: Good morning.
Hobson: So, Steve, let’s first talk about the legacy of Steve Jobs.
Henn: You know, Jeremy, there may not enough time to cover it. This is one of the handful of people who helped bring computers into all of our homes, and more recently he put, you know, really powerful comptuers in our pocket with the iPhone. But he was also the executive producer of Toy Story, so his legacy is enormous. But it’s important to remember — he’s not gone, he’s still the chairman of Apple, so who’s to say his legacy is complete?
Hobson: What does this mean, then, for the future of Apple?
Henn: Well, most people I’ve talked to have said immediately, not a whole lot. Tim Cook was named the permanent CEO of Apple. He had that role for the last eight months as the acting CEO. And he has been at Apple for a long time. He revamped their supply chain, is known as an incredibly efficient, hard worker — sort of the guy around the company who makes the trains run time.
So, how the markets react is obviously a big question — so I asked Molly Wood executive editor at CNET, about Cook.
Molly Wood: He is definitely someone that Wall Street is familiar with, that shareholders feel comfortable with. He’s a guy who is more than capable of carrying out Steve Jobs’ vision in the near future.
Henn: That seems like a pretty key phrase — “in the near future.”
Wood: Yeah it is. You know, Tim Cook is not the kind of person you think of necessarily when you think of the next great Apple visionary.
Hobson: So a guy that makes the trains run on time, but not necessarily the “next great Apple visionary” — that sounds like a problem to me, Steve.
Henn: Maybe, but it’s important to remember — Steve Jobs didn’t create every product Apple made by himself in his garage. For years when Jobs was asked about his greatest or most underappreciated contributions as an executive, he’d say some variation of the same thing, which was that his most important role was to find the best people in the world at what he was trying to do, convince them to come work with him. And then convince them to stay and do the best work of their lives.
You know, today Apple has lot of visionaries working there. I think Cook’s biggest challenge may be convincing them all to stay. And then, making tough calls about which visions of the future to bet on.
Hobson: Marketplace’s Steve Henn in Silicon Valley. Thank you so much, Steve.
Henn: Sure thing.
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